Obesity is having an increasingly significant impact on the overall health of our pets.

The Veterinary Times has reported that the University of Liverpool’s Royal Canin Weight Management Clinic has helped almost 500 cats and dogs shed a combined two tonnes....

Obesity is having an increasingly significant impact on the overall health of our pets.

The Veterinary Times has reported that the University of Liverpool’s Royal Canin Weight Management Clinic has helped almost 500 cats and dogs shed a combined two tonnes in weight since opening in 2005.

The pet obesity clinic, at the university’s Small Animal Teaching Hospital, is celebrating its 15th birthday and marking the event by highlighting the case of one of its latest success stories.

Lockdown loser

Ollie before and after his weight loss

Ollie before and after his weight loss.

Ollie the pug was referred to the clinic weighing 14.8kg (32.6lb) – and despite the challenges of lockdown, he lost 36% of his bodyweight, falling to 9.4kg (20.7lb) in 10 months.

The clinic – the first of its kind in Europe when it launched – is run by world-recognised specialist in companion animal obesity Alex German, and Georgia Woods – one of only two VNs in the UK to hold the veterinary technician speciality in nutrition.

Breeds

Between them they have helped 70 different breeds of dogs lose weight, with the most-referred 10 breeds being:

  1. Labrador retriever
  2. Cavalier King Charles spaniel
  3. Cross-breeds
  4. Pug
  5. Golden retriever
  6. Border collie
  7. Dachshund
  8. Yorkshire terrier
  9. Bulldog
  10. Cocker spaniel

On average, each referred animal loses 20% of its bodyweight.

Health problems

Prof German said, 'Over the past 15 years, we have learned a lot about obesity in dogs and cats – what causes it, the health problems it brings and how best to manage it.'

'We are delighted at how our insights have helped veterinary professionals to achieve success in managing obesity in the pets they care for. However, above all we have loved sharing the journeys of the many pets and owners in reaching their goals, and seeing for ourselves the improvements in quality of life this brings.'

‘Rewarding’

Mrs Woods said:

'It has been so rewarding for me to meet so many wonderful owners, and to see the transformations and improvements to the quality of life of our patients. Obesity care can be challenging at times, but I have immensely enjoyed helping and guiding pet owners and their pets to success.'

'I am also hugely proud of the education we have been able to provide to other vets and nurses across many countries, sharing our knowledge and helping them improve obesity care in their own practices.'

'I’m very excited to continue the work to improve obesity care strategies and to see what the next years will hold.'